The Choir

Music at the school is varied, united only in a commitment to excellence and, that essential ingredient, good fun.

Holland Park is committed to musical excellence and this is embodied most outwardly in the work of the school's choir.

Established some eight or nine years ago, the choir sings evensong annually in St Paul's cathedral and in recent years toured Florence and sang in Carnegie Hall alongside the King's Singers as part of their 60th anniversary celebrations. 

We have been exceptionally fortunate to enjoy a wealth of experiences in some of the world's most renowed musical establishments and with some of the country's finest musicians. In early 2020, the choir enjoyed a number of masterclasses with the internationally acclaimed, GRAMMY award-winning early music group Stile Antico. This was the second series of workshops with the talented group in recent years and has built amongst the singers in the choir a growing professionalism and sense of the very highest of standards. Working with our young singers on some of the finest music to emerge from the renaissance tradition, students in the choir have fallen in love with music from the 16th and 17th centuries, finding in the gloriously interwoven lines of polyphony an ineffable spiritual resonance.

Whilst there is some liturgical singing in the course of the school year, the choir is a secular group made up from a diverse range of students. We embrace the rich cultural tradition of western music and include within that tradition devotional music as part of our most treasured heritage. Music from the Renaissance has always been central in the choir’s repertoire. When the choir was first established the bulk of its music heralded from composers such as Orlando Gibbons, William Byrd, Thomas Tallis, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and Tomas Lui Victoria.

Each year, the choir assembles along with it friends, parents, governors and members of the school community to perform a major work in its annual December concert. In recent years, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem and Vivaldi Gloria have been enjoyed by singers and the school community alike. Joined by professional musicians as soloists and instrumentalists, this is an opportunity for high-quality and highly enjoyable music making and a moment to experience directly an opus of timeless merit and splendour.

In addition to this, the choir also contributes annually to the local parish’s festival concert, raises money for charity in mid December and from time to time, makes a pilgrimage to a cathedral outside London to sing in concerts.

And the choir is not alone in seeking to promote the very best experience of music. Classroom music is innovative, adventurous, ambitious and rigorous.  Students leave the school with a strong grounding in the foundations of musical theory, musical history, performance and composition.  Extra-curricular music is vibrant, popular and equally committed to high standards.

Our annual performance, the Katharine Kent Music Concert, showcases the very best of musical performances in the school.  It is a celebration of the rich and diverse music scene at Holland Park.  The orchestra has a similar focus to the choir and plays a pivotal role in our centre-piece school production.

Talented music teachers ensure that music is at the forefront of all that the school celebrates. Ms Amy Chapman, Leading Practitioner, is not only a talented and imaginative teacher, she has also curated the school's music magazine and countless lunchtime performances, evening events and festivals of music. She is a trumpet player, an arranger, a percussionist, a highly skilled drum player, guitarist and stalwart alto in the school's choir. She leads the school's orchestra with panache and flair.

Mr Karl Kramer is a guitar player and a skilful singer and brings a wealth of experience to the Holland Park music department. He is a very exciting member of the team of committed and talented musicians.

Both Amy Chapman and Karl Kramer have extensive experience in music technology which offers further range and depth to the school’s musical tradition.

Mr Nicholas Robson, Associate Head, has his background in choral music, having been a choral scholar at the University of Durham and a chorister at Chichester Cathedral. He leads the choir and is dedicated to ensuring access to high quality classical music in school.

Mr Jack May, Assistant Headteacher, is another highly talented musician, whose experiences as a choral scholar have brought to school singing a dimension of excellence, wide-ranging experience, first class sight-singing and near-comprehensive knowledge of the choral repertoire.

Students work alongside talented musicians in their music making and this has engendered a culture of high standards and unalloyed joy.